Studies Show Religious Families Happier and Less Abusive

(CV NEWS) - Families involved in religious activities tend to be happier, more stable, and less abusive than other families, new studies have found.

Columnist Meagan Kohler wrote in a recent op-ed for Deseret News that she asked Professor Justin Dyer at Brigham Young University for information on the “effects of religiosity on individual and family wellbeing.”

According to Dyer, who has studied the subject extensively, the data “is fairly clear” in suggesting that religious families are more stable and suffer less child and domestic abuse than others.

Kohler referenced another similar study conducted in Ireland, which explored “the associations between mothers’ religiosity and families’ and children’s functioning.”

“The researchers found that maternal religiosity—how much a mother valued and participated in her religion—was correlated with greater mother-child attachment and inversely correlated with family conflict,” Kohler wrote. “As mom’s devotedness and participation in her faith increased, maternal psychological distress and child adjustment problems decreased.”

Another study discovered that men who attend religious services regularly are 72% less likely to abuse their female partners, which adds to a family’s overall sense of stability and wellbeing.

“Faith communities do more than condemn the bad, of course, with positive messages about young people also common,” Kohler continued. “Another recent cross-sectional study of 30,000 adults in 24 countries found that religious people were more likely to see children as providing joy and happiness, rather than burdensome.”

Kohler, a Latter-day Saint raising her children in the same faith, added that she hopes growing up with a religious background will benefit her kids the same way the studies found.

“One day [my children] will strike out on their own and I’ll have far less influence over their choices,” she wrote. “My hope is that they will remember the happiness they felt in their parents’ home, and that this will tether them to the religious teachings and practices that have filled my own life with so much joy.”

Reprinted with permission from Catholic Vote.


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